In Cameroon, “we pray for a #MeToo to be triggered” after the “sextape” affair

Malicka Bayemi est “Traumatized”, “terrified”, “disturbed” and increased the number of sessions with a psychologist. “Put yourself in his shoes!” A 24-year-old woman who sees her privacy revealed on social networks », sorry Me Dominique Fousse, who leads the group of lawyers mobilized to defend it. Since Wednesday, June 16, a video and photos showing the young woman having sex have shocked Cameroon.

The « sextape » was shot in the office of Martin Camus Mimb, famous journalist at the head of Radio sport info (RSI). After its broadcast on social networks, the 47-year-old journalist, close to former international footballer Samuel Eto’o, assured in a post on Facebook that the couple appearing in the video had come to see him for a dedication and that he had left it in his office for a “Intervention on the air”. In the process, many personalities from the media, culture and even the Minister for Justice, Jean de Dieu Momo, gave him their support.

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Malicka Bayemi has been treated by some “Prostitute”. But faced with the pressure of whistleblowers, activists and Cameroonian Internet users angered by the exposure of the intimacy of the young woman, Wilfrid Eteki, a traditional chef and owner of a restaurant known for his proximity to Martin Camus Mimb, apologized and confessed to being the author of the sextape, sent according to him to ” wrong recipient “ – thus contradicting the journalist’s version.

Backpedaling

According to relatives of Malicka, that Wednesday, the young woman had received insistent calls from Wilfried Eteki who gave her an appointment in the premises of Radio sport infos. ” The two men took advantage of her to then share the videos and photos on social networks, whatsapp groups without her consent. », Laments one of his relatives. Unlike Malicka, the faces of the two men do not appear on the Web.

Rarely, the government, which has always shone with its silence in the face of moral issues, this time denounced “With the last energy”, through the voice of Marie-Thérèse Abena, Minister for the Promotion of Women and the Family, “Odious and unhealthy acts which make the young woman a thing of the past, make her a sexual object devoid of any value”. Since then, the sports journalist’s supporters backpedaled and demanded that justice be done to Malicka Bayemi. Jean de Dieu Momo has deleted all of his support posts on Facebook.

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Thursday, June 24, the lawyers of the young woman introduced a direct summons to the court of first instance of Douala. An option far from trivial since it allows the victim of an offense or the public prosecutor to summon the accused directly. In 2018, at the height of the “Bonita” affair, named after a teenage girl who accused Perfect Ayissi of rape, then a prominent journalist at Vision 4, a private and pro-government television channel, the same collective of lawyers had filed a complaint that was not followed up.

“The Minister for Justice gave his support to Martin Camus Mimb. From that moment on, we said to ourselves that if we went through a complaint with a civil party, she would sleep there ”, specifies Me Dominique Fousse.

” I can not talk “

Is something happening in Cameroon? In the wake of the sextape scandal, the word began to be released among some women to denounce acts of harassment, sexual assault and attempted rape of which they were allegedly victims.

Ide Rosine Deumaga was one of the first (along with her friend the artist Patricia Bakalack) to publicly testify to the indecent proposals and the harassment suffered in 2018 in a Parisian hotel where Martin Camus Mimb was staying – she herself lives in France. Since then, two members of his family have criticized him for having ” speak “. The coordinator of the Association for the Promotion of Rural Libraries (Asprobir, one of whose components, “Lire au feminine”, encourages women to read) does not care: “I was a victim. Lots of women have been through the same thing with Martin or someone else. I want to make them talk. “

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Because fear remains omnipresent. Before testifying, Sylvia * submits a list of requests: not to describe her, not to mention her name, her media, her age or even ” the smallest detail that can identify me ”, breathes the journalist, frightened. She claims to have been “Sexually harassed for months by Martin”, but refuses to give “Details of the scenes: he can recognize me”.

Same fear in Francesca *, “Forced to do things so ugly ». It shortens our meeting after about ten minutes. “With this sextape, we pray that a #MeToo is triggered. If Martin is doomed, I could unbox it all. But I can’t speak now, because he is supported by the whole government ”, she says before leaving, referring us to the journalist’s recent dedication tour in Yaoundé for the publication of his book, Standing. In the photos, he poses alongside many ministers.

“Total impunity”

According to the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey in Cameroon, 52% of women who have suffered physical or sexual violence do not talk about it and do not ask for help. “We are dealing with men who have evolved for years with total impunity. In this society, women’s rights are worthless and they know it ”, deplores the tireless feminist activist Minou Chrys-Tayl.

As soon as the sextape was broadcast, the writer Arol Ketchiemen took up the case for Malicka Bayemi. He has collected numerous testimonies from women denouncing Martin Camus Mimb and others “Sexual predators”, as he calls them. His Facebook account has been flagged and blocked, but he continues to be overwhelmed with messages. According to him, the damage is numerous and a “Real Cameroonian #MeToo” This can only happen when women agree to testify with their faces uncovered and when justice and society accompany the victims.

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« When women are victims of rape or violence, it is they who are accused ”, laments Félix Mbetbo, author of the book Cut their zizi!, a collection of testimonies from women who have suffered various forms of violence. “With the Malicka affair, social networks have mobilized in an unprecedented way. This will mark the start of a new era ”, he hopes.

Moreover, faced with the pressure which does not weaken, Martin Camus Mimb presented, in tears in front of the cameras, his apologies to Malicka. June 25. “As a man, big brother and father, I regret everything that has happened”, he wrote in a letter. How does he respond to accusations from other women? “If someone complains about me, we will go to court to prove or not my innocence”, he tells the World Africa.

“Everyone can say what he thinks, but the main thing is not what we say but what we can prove. Many on social networks want to create a buzz. If we are in a situation where we have to explain or defend ourselves, I will answer you with regard to the elements that will be presented to us ”, concludes Me Kouokam, one of Mr. Mimb’s counsel.

* The first names have been changed.